Get wide right! (shooting with the Fujinon XF 14mm F2.8)

While we continue to shoot almost daily with the X100s and gather our thoughts about this camera, we decided to take a break from the topic and present some images from our recent trip to an unknown British Columbia.

Shooting with wide-angle lenses poses a challenge for many new photographers.

This is not a “have it all in” lens. The general idea is to get closer to the subject and be very selective. However, it is not as easy as it sounds. Such an approach may be unnatural to many photographers, especially beginners.

As with every lens, it all starts with observation and vision. Keep in mind that not every subject will be suitable for the wide-angle treatment! Our favourite photographs taken with this lens usually consist of a very large distinctive subject, which stands out from its surroundings. The picture with the old yellow house shows our point the best.


The other way to use the lens could be dragging the viewer into the subject – almost as if you could touch it. The image showing the back of the truck could be an example.


Finally, grand landscapes almost always need to be shown in the wide-angle perspective, with one proviso: while shooting open spaces such as fields or prairies, you need to find point of interest and (usually) place it upfront otherwise the picture may be plain and boring.


Once you select your subject and visualize it, the general rule is to get closer – even closer than you would naturally stand. You almost need to force yourself to get closer! Once this has been achieved, you must pay attention to the edges of your image. Due to the extremely wide view, some objects hiding in the corners could ruin your effort. Therefore, try to change your position by raising your camera or lowering it, which usually takes care of the problem.

To summarize:

  1. Always start with observation and vision
  2. Choose a distinctive subject that stands out from the surroundings
  3. Get unnaturally close
  4. Watch corners and eliminate any unnecessary junk
  5. Change the point of view – with a wide angle it makes a huge difference

Here are more images all shot with the Fuji X-Pro1 and Fujinon XF 14mm F2.8 lens wide-angle lens.








… and final three were captured in the last few days not far from our home





© Olaf Sztaba Photography. All rights reserved.

37 thoughts on “Get wide right! (shooting with the Fujinon XF 14mm F2.8)

  1. For the pickup trucks and other photos where the subject extends towards the viewer, what aperture do you shoot at and at what distance is your focal point?

  2. Pingback: XF 14mm - Seite 24
  3. Wow. I had the tool but not the notice book.

    Thanks so much for your clear and useful advice. Your pics are really stunning!


  4. Your photos are amazing! I just stumbled on your site and this one article taught me a lot already. 🙂 Got interested also because I’ve always wanted to move to shooting with a Fuji camera than with the usual Nikon/Canon. Definitely following and keep up the good work!:)

    1. Starting with the Fuji system is an excellent idea – having all the main dials at the top helps to understand and learn photography.

      All the best,


      P.S. I like your blog a lot.

      1. Thanks for the encouragement! I will definitely post pictures once I have officially made the switch. Hopefully soon!

        Thanks for liking my blog!:) That is a humbling compliment considering you take far greater photos.

        Hope to see more from you soon!:)


  5. Olaf I am really enjoying your work, its context ( the magnificent Canadian West) and your photographic insights. I love wide angle photography – 20mm (full frame equiv) is my “natural” focal length – and you have ably summarised the key techniques required to maximise the potential of such lenses.
    My Fujifilm 14mm is by a considerable margin the best ultrawide I have owned so far. Decent build, very sharp indeed in the centre, right from wide open; extremely sharp across the frame a stop or two down; absolutely negligible distortion. And something which I am realising seems to be a special attribute of these Fujifilm lenses across the board: punch! These lenses are, above all, expressive photographic tools!

    Your efforts are clearly appreciated by many. Keep up the great work!

    1. Nick,

      I really enjoyed reading your comments. Indeed, the Fujinon 14mm F2.8 lens is my favourite so far – maybe because of subjects I crave to photograph or maybe that’s the way I see the world around me. I noticed that all I need is the 35mm focal length (Fuji X100s) and the Fujinon 14mm (21mm FF equiv) on my other camera – this setup covers 99% of my visual needs.

      Thanks for visiting,


  6. Olaf, your pictures with this Fuji lens and others are nothing short of inspiring! And I am a jaded web lurker who is only occasionally impressed by what I see in online camera/lens reviews. The colours, clarity and most of all composition and subject matter in your work are all perfect. I keep jonesing after this lens whenever I see you have posted more … but then I remember I am a 35-50 mm shooter and I don’t know if i could pull off the composition to do justice to the lens.

    In the end, it is your work that is inspiring for me, but as a Fuji user, I am happy to see the hardware supports you well. Anyway, kudos and please keep the pictures coming …!

  7. So there you go again – another truly useful post, beautifully illustrated. It’s becoming a habit.

    Thanks for posting this.

  8. Great pics Olaf. Nice to know how far fuji can go in terms of IQ. I really like the color ones. Can you share how you do the post processing? any particular software that you find can explore fuji’s file the best way?

    1. Nanu,

      Basic post-processing was done in Capture One (exposure, white balance etc) then some local adjustments were performed in Lightroom 4. However, the most emphasis was on an initial capture – right light, composition and subject! We are planning to write more on the subject in one of our upcoming posts. Stay tuned.

      Thank you for visiting.


  9. Thanks for this great article, very helpful indeed for a beginner like me.

    Dragonboats in the last picture, haven’t seen any in ages!

      1. I am using CV 15mm f4.5 to fill in the wide angle option.
        I find that XF 14mm is a big lens for my taste.

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